Tag Archives: massacre

A Few Thoughts Regarding Paris

Rider

So another horrible tragedy happened in Paris over the weekend. I’m sure most of the people on the Internet are already aware of it, so I’m not gonna explain what happened. I was going to write about something else entirely, but let me react to a few things regarding the recent tragic event.

Unfortunately, I think the world is playing exactly to ISIS’ plans. Politicians are now committing to close borders to Syrian refugees, increase surveillance of Muslim communities, and send more forces to the Middle East. What exactly does ISIS want? They can be quite vague with their calls for the downfall of the west, but like all terrorism in the Middle East, I believe all of their actions are fueled by their need for self-preservation, they need to justify their existence. They kill civilians, parts of the Middle East are bombed in retaliation, Muslims in the west are marginalized even further, resentment against western government increases, and ultimately more people join ISIS. The military might of western nations just plays into the victim mentality of the “oppressed” Muslim who finds himself/herself joining groups like ISIS.  These terrorist groups market themselves as revolutionary forces fighting against oppressive regimes, and for the past few years the United States and its allies have acted the part to fit the terrorist narrative.

Already, I believe the reaction to the attacks will fuel more violence. A Syrian passport was found among the carnage and people have used it to claim that the terrorists were gaining entry to the west as refugees. (As of this moment, some news sources believe the passport belongs to one of the victims) Because of this, several countries are rethinking helping refugees. People forget that these refugees are running away from ISIS. Not all of them are terrorists. Not all of them hate the west. Should Canada shut down its borders if one or two immigrants commit crimes in the country? A man was beheaded by a Chinese immigrant in Winnipeg a couple of years ago. The attacker was found to be mentally unstable. But there were no talks regarding mental screening for immigrants or an examination of the Chinese population after the attack. The Chinese community was not indicted for the crime. And yet for the Paris attack and the like, it is par for the course to indict the whole Muslim community. Inflammatory rhetoric does nothing but justify more hatred towards the west and divide people. Right now, the French Interior Minister is already calling for the “dissolution” of some mosques. Now, how is that gonna play in the minds of some Muslims?

Regarding immigration, ISIS doesn’t need to slip in operatives to countries. Even if they do, history shows we’re often looking at the wrong direction anyway. The 9/11 hijackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia. They were not from Iraq or Afghanistan. ISIS does a lot of recruiting online. They are converting people with their “oppressed by western powers” message. If there was to be another attack, it’ll probably be done by people who are already savvy enough to know the ins and outs of a particular country and community. It won’t be a fresh of the boat immigrant who barely knows the language, especially with the amount of focus the Syrian refugees are currently receiving from the press.  ISIS doesn’t want these people leaving Syria. They want them to remain in the country to be under their control. Them leaving and living decent lives in other countries goes against the narrative that ISIS is running a competent government.

Napoleon

A Youtube user, Thunderf00t, mentioned that the recent attack shows the effectiveness of using guns for terrorist attacks versus bombs. It is true, gun massacres tend to produce more casualties than bomb attacks. Guns are relatively easier to acquire and control; and the results are more predictable. Bombs on the other hand are much more complicated, and suicide bombers never get to gauge the amount of damage they cause. It is thus very disheartening that over the weekend, several gun rights proponents are saying that the massacre would’ve been less deadly if there were more people in the vicinity with guns. These people forget that while France doesn’t have as much guns as the United States, it also doesn’t have as much mass shootings. Gun control is actually something that can be done to fight terrorism. Controlling the runaway arms and defense industries is something that could be done to reduce violence. But as far as reactions to terrorism are concerned, this isn’t even in the picture. Guns will continue to be sold and find their way to terrorist hands, be it through sale within western countries or through “aid” the US gives out like free candy.

Knight

This brings me now to a couple of things that bother me to a lesser extent. First is hashtag activism. Now, I think it’s fine to show support to the victims by changing one’s Facebook profile pic to the color of France’s flag, but it doesn’t really put too much skin in the game. It’s very low cost and doesn’t really do much to affect change. Looking at the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, it didn’t really put an end to the atrocities in Nigeria. Boko Haram still exists, abducting and trading young girls. Now, I’m not saying that one should not support France by doing something as low cost as changing one’s Facebook profile pic, but I suspect it is often more about following trends and thus more about the person than it is about the cause.

And speaking of making it about themselves, Bono is a well-meaning idiot. He calls the attack the first direct hit on music. Now, I know what he’s saying. The attack affected freedom and a way of life that celebrates music. But the way he says it makes it seem like the attack was more against him and the music industry (Boohoo, a U2 concert got cancelled!) and less against France and the west in general. He means well, but he’s not doing himself any favor. He still sounds like a narcissist.

I could go on and on about the attacks, but I’m probably not the only person pretending to be an expert in Muslims and geopolitics. I imagine social media is filled with people like me, talking as if they know what’s really going on.  I’m writing my thoughts as an unknown person with very little influence. Unfortunately, there are people out there with far more influence but with incredibly more extreme (and violent) solutions to this growing problem.

I say be kind to your neighbors regardless who they are, and hug your loved ones. Right now, bombs are falling, guns are being readied, and more violence will probably be in the news in the future.

*Unfortunately, most of my work related to France have a militaristic theme.

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So Sad

sad

So uh, that was pretty sad news the other day. Some sad gunman shot at a bunch of people in a campus in California, killing seven people and injuring several others. The gunman made a series of videos and a lengthy manifesto detailing why he wanted to shoot women and how much he hated them for rejecting him. He hated the fact that women in campus didn’t pay him any attention and that they would rather go out with idiots. In his manifesto, he fantasized about killing most women in the world and just keeping a select few for breeding. What a charmer!

Now, there’s already a bunch of spin on the story. People are rallying for gun control. And yes, it is a bit ridiculous when law enforcement officials have to go through so many hurdles in order to get assigned a pistol, and yet any individual on the street can get a pistol with barely any question asked. Despite, this, I’m sure not much would happen because we’ve seen similar stories likes this too many times and if anything, there have been more pro-gun legislations passed since Obama got elected. People will use the story for their own agenda, and it will probably be the agenda that gets more people killed. Heck, even as I write, I’m looking at a story that blames homosexual impulses on the shooting. Great. Blame the homos. Have more of them stay in the closet and lead unhappy lives.

I saw some of the videos (I couldn’t get through all of it) and read some of the gunman’s writing. Sad. This was a kid who couldn’t get laid despite being the son of what I assume is a fairly successful director. He drove around in a beemer. If a rich kid in a beemer couldn’t get laid, what chance does the kid in a Kia have? This was a kid who had resources. How come those who don’t have money are still able to get laid? Doesn’t he deserve as much? Many people felt that the videos were extremely narcissistic, and they truly are… but I felt more depressed thinking that this was a sad and terribly entitled kid who couldn’t get anything that wasn’t given to him in a silver plate and wrapped in a bow, someone who truly just didn’t understand how humans worked.

The whole thing kinda bugged me, because we’ve all been there. There’s always a girl you couldn’t get. There’s always times when we felt ugly and dejected… hating the girl we like because they’re out with someone who treats them like shit. I know many men in their thirties who are still like this kid, alone and wishing for company. But usually when you feel dejected, you get over it. You move on. You don’t turn and seethe in hatred of the things you desire and can’t have. And you certainly don’t write pages of fantasy manifesto about them.* It’s just terribly unattractive.

As for being a virgin, you don’t obsess about being still a virgin at 22. Who cares? Lower your expectations. Stop aiming for the 10 and aim for the 8. Or wait a while. There are no scoreboards out there. I believe losing one’s virginity is one of the biggest letdowns most people would ever experience in their lives. I know it certainly was in my case. So I’m really lost whenever I hear people obsessing on either side of the spectrum: those wanting to get laid ASAP, or those saving it for marriage like it’s a precious gift. It’s not a rite of passage. It really isn’t. After years of having sex, the first one would most likely be the most forgettable of all if it wasn’t the first.

If anything, the shame of being a virgin (not that there should be any shame to it) is just something that reeks out of people who obsess over it. It just makes it easier to tell.

The gunman actually reminds me of those terrorists expecting to be with 72 virgins after they blow themselves up. If you read the holy text, those virgins they are promised have alabaster skin and golden hair (and apparently, gigantic), much like the blonde sorority girls** the gunman lusted over. It’s like some terrorists’ rage, much like the gunman’s is just rooted in lack of access to sex, and that if the both actually got laid now and then, they would relax a bit and enjoy this wonderful world for what it is: a world of endless sex possibilities. And really, if he was so pent up, why not just hire a prostitute? Heck, hire a classy prostitute. It’s better than shooting people up and dying as a sad loser that people will blog about and criticize. That goes the same with terrorists. There are wonderful women in this world. And beyond the joys of sex, there is greater meaning in life. IN LIFE! You have to be living. Live, get laid, and be happy.***

 
*I never wrote manifestos over how much I hated young, pre-Seal Heidi Klum.

**Beautiful, blonde sorority slut? How creative is this guy’s fantasy? It’s like he was raised on Playboy and Axe Body Spray.

***Now, I realize that the gunman was mentally ill. He was truly ill. And while I wrote more about the common frustrations of wanting sex and not getting any, I think the recent tragedy’s roots are more about mental illness and the need for sensible gun regulations. But that topic has been covered so many times by people smarter and more competent than me. And yet, here we are still.

 

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